DM of the Rings CII:
A Minor Omission

By Shamus Posted Friday May 18, 2007

Filed under: DM of the Rings 160 comments

The DM forgot to bestow Aragorn’s sword.
Elrond drops by.

There are ways to correct mistakes made in the delivery of the plot. Some are better than others.


From The Archives:

160 thoughts on “DM of the Rings CII:
A Minor Omission

  1. Lucca says:

    What? no comic today? And i guess im first 8D

  2. opus7600 says:

    I see words, but no pictures…

  3. General Ghoul says:

    All of you first shouters can get in line to have your brain eaten like the jacka** in Shaun of the Dead.

    1. Don't fret. The whole “First!” thing dies out by 2012 or so.

      1. the ghost of the past futurepast says:

        bless this mess

        1. Shamrock says:

          Now all the “FiRsT!!” comments are on YouTube instead lol.

          Oh yeah, for those of you in 2007, YouTube becomes kiiiiind of a huge deal. And buy some dogecoin and Gamestop shares while you’re at it.

          1. Jake says:

            Not to mention Amazon stocks

            1. Michael says:

              Nevermind about stocks! Buy lots of hand sanitizer before 2020.

  4. LethalSpoon says:

    Does it really matter about being first?

    And another great comic! Keep it up.

  5. blackgryphon says:

    “And keep you hands off my daughter”

    Second favorite line of all time. I loved this one.

  6. Wulfwen says:

    “Sweet smoking Conan!” There’s a mental image that’ll haunt me… Awesomely funny! :)

    1. Matrim says:

      Shouldn’t be too haunting…Arnold did smoke pot

  7. drow says:

    figures. only two magic items in the whole fracking campaign, and they both go to the ranger. ;)

  8. Myxx says:

    lol. This episode cracked me up. Oh crap indeed.

  9. Robbi says:

    “And keep your hands off my daughter.” Ooh, I think I’ve seen that exact look on my dad’s face when I brought home some guy he didn’t approve of… thanks for the Friday laugh, Shamus!

  10. Da Rogue says:

    Hahaha! I love it! Looks like ol’ Elrond pulled a little heist…
    ah well, Aragormless got his sword finally.

  11. Fefe says:

    This one made me laugh really hard whereas the other recent ones only made me smile ;). You still manage to surprise me Shamus, I thought you already abused every situation that could possibly happen in a D&D game. :)

  12. aren3 says:

    Hilarious, as usual. And probably makes about as much sense as that part of the movie. Yeah, yeah, dramatic pacing and all that.

  13. Finally, the DM screws up bad.

    Another classic, some of the best lines yet.

    Keep it up!

  14. Aaron says:

    “Ok, suddenly Lord Elrond shows up at your camp.” “Hi”

    When I first started GMing this was a WEEKLY event. I was so nub LOL. I got a lot of “I was supposed to have this all along?”

    That screen cap of Elrond is awesome when he tells Aragormless to keep the hands off. Classic lol.

    And when the Aragormless is using the palantir: “Yeah that magical dohicky.” HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

    “Then he leaves.”

  15. Dylan Zimmerman says:

    Gotta say, the best line of the comic is “Okay, Suddenly Elrond shows up at your camp.” I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve solved problems this way before.

  16. Doug Brown says:

    OK, Shamus, you have surpassed all of your previous perfection in the choice of facial expressions with “Wielder of the what now?”

    Also, please but *please* tell me there’s a Priscilla, Queen of the Desert joke coming before this is all over.



  17. Soris says:

    Ye Gods! I read this more than 5 minutes ago and I’m still laughing. “Sweet smoking Conan!”, indeed.

    Quality stuff again, Shamus.

  18. Marmot says:

    “Suddenly Lord Elrond shows up at your camp. ‘Hi.’ ”


    I didn’t think it was possible to beat the previous comics but this one is really the king now. Keep up the awesomeness!

  19. brassbaboon says:

    That’s it!? That’s the whole Palantir viewing scene?

    I guess you’ll go back to that in the next comic now that you’ve reconciled the missing Anduril plot element.

    That was one of the scenes in the movie that made no sense to me.

    Heh, you should have posted the swords stats too, like in an item box next to the sword as Aragorn holds it up so we can see how awesome it is too.

    My favorite lines?

    “Hi. Here is the sword.”

    The understated eloquence of the Noldor is rarely acknowledged.

  20. Jake says:

    Certainly the most brilliant episode so far, in my opinion. Great job alluding to the corresponding (and somewhat perplexing) plot alteration from the movies. I wonder whether Peter Jackson made the same mistake that our DM made, and corrected it in the same way. Hmmm…

  21. Eltanin says:

    Nice one Shamus. Again, your screen-capture-fu has surpassed itself.

    I particularly enjoyed the commentary on the fallacies in the movie by having Elrond show up. So pleasantly subtle and tasty. I think that you should let your dissatisfaction with the movies come out more in the comic. It’s hilarious!

    My wife and I are reading the books again for the first time since the movies came out. It’s wonderful to have the characters back from their twisted cinema-versions. Comforting to have Frodo be competent and not wide-eyed and scared the whole time.

    Anyway, thanks again for the great comic.

  22. Clyde says:

    I dunno… You gotta be leery of any sword with a name. Like as not, it may have a mind of its own.

  23. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    Hillarious!I can just imagine peter jackson shooting the third part,then someone comes out and says:”Hey,we never did that scene where they reforged the sword in part one”

  24. Susano says:

    Oh Lord… the rest of the cube farm must think I’m crazy. I got to “Hi.” and just lost it.

  25. DocTwisted says:

    “Okay, so I managed to use the planter.” XD

    This one was truly hilarious, Shamus. I was cracking up right at the first panel, and just about fell out of my chair when Elrond turned into the father of every girl I’ve dated.

  26. Osvaldo Mandias says:

    Giggle-fest. You’ve outdone yourself.

  27. okay! says:

    Can’t wait for other players’ reaction when they hear Aragorn got a sweet blade for doing nothing. Where’s Gimli’s enchanted hammer, or Legolas’ enchanted bow, or the halflings’ enchanted toe hair trimmers?

    Great comic as usual.

  28. Tim the Enchanter says:

    Hilarious! I’ve been reading the comic for about 3 months now and have loved it, but this is the first comment I’ve made. I just had to post something because this episode is a masterpiece!

    I was laughing from the first panel and “Sweet smoking Conan” just about made me fall outta my chair.

    You’re doing an awesome job. Thanks for the belly laughs!

  29. AJ says:

    Makes you kind of wonder if Peter Jackson made the same mistake in the filming and went “oh crap…umm…we’ll have Elrond show up to deliver the sword!”

    Fantastic as always Shamus!

  30. Proteus says:

    Shamus ex machina… Great comic!

  31. bruce says:

    You know, some strips lead up to a punch-line, but I think that one that one has a punch-line in every frame.

    Best yet!

  32. MintSkittle says:

    21 Clyde Says:
    May 18th, 2007 at 11:35 am

    I dunno… You gotta be leery of any sword with a name. Like as not, it may have a mind of its own.

    That reminds me of a book I read: Bring me the Head of Prince Charming.
    Near the end, Prince Charming comes across Excalibur, which indeed has amind of its own, and seems obsessed with killing things. And it crawls away on its own to do that. Prince Charming quickly abandons the sword after that. I admit it’s not a great book, but it’s good for a couple of laughs.

  33. Randolpho says:

    teehee… I always hated that part of the movies

  34. John says:

    id give up now

    it will not get any better than that strip!

    well done sir


  35. Rico says:

    Lurved it. Lurved it good.

  36. pdwalker says:

    So… what are the stats of the sword?

  37. TalrogSmash says:

    Unfortunately, I understand why this deveation was made.

    In the books Aragorn purposefully hides the fact that he has this sword. No modern moviegoer who hadn’t already read the books would beleive this. Therefore you throw it in when, in the books, the blade would be revealed.

    Blame it on media’s always selling to the lowest common denominator.

    Still one of the funniest things I’ve ever read!

  38. Renacier says:


  39. Shandrunn says:

    In the books, Aragorn actually used Anduril before that. At the very least he wielded it at Helm’s Deep.

  40. Mike S. says:

    TalrogSmash: In the books, Aragorn doesn’t hide Anduril after it’s reforged. He uses it openly (e.g., in Moria), and gives its whole history to Hama the doorward when the latter insists that they not bring weapons before Theoden. (That it’s specifically that sword is the reason Aragorn says he’s reluctant to let it go. “I would do as the master of the house bade me, were this only a woodman’s cot, if I bore now any sword but Anduril.”)

    (If anything, the trick is to get him to stop telling you about the sword. :-) )

    In any case, the events of this strip are a better explanation for the reshuffling of the sequence than Jackson came up with.

  41. Rolld20 says:

    Oh, oh, my!
    My diaphram HURTS from suppressed laughter!
    Quality, Shamus. Many thanks- I’ll be chuckling all weekend over this one. :)

  42. josh brandt says:

    Okay, so did I already mention my friend who was playing Mordenkainen’s Dungeon with another friend of his as DM?

    That dungeon starts the players off in front of a lock and absolutely impassable door– you can’t disintegrate, fireball, cut, break, lockpick, _wish_, astral travel, or ANYTHING to get through that door. The only thing that will open it is the Key of Opening, which the players are supposed to start out with (through whatever mechanism the DM decides in order to fit it into one’s ongoing campaign or whatever).

    So after four hours of the players trying to pick the lock, fireball their way in, disintegrate the doors and so on, after getting TOTALLY frustrated with the whole thing, finally the DM asked, “Why don’t you just use that key you started out with?”

    Yeah, he’d forgotten to give them the key. I think that was the last time he got to be DM…

  43. Arbaal says:

    Bwah ha ha ha ha ha! Priceless! I am at a job I just started on Tuesday and burst out laughing.

    “And keep your hands off my daughter!”

    Absolutely priceless!

  44. Midnight_Fox says:

    He has Anduril the whole time and doesn’t really hide the fact either. In fact, he even warns the Palace Guards in Rohan that only he may draw the sword without being harmed when they take Anduril from him. Not much hiding there.

  45. DB says:

    I have to agree, this part of the movie made me miss the books the most.

    Perfect, though. “Hi”. Just perfect.

  46. Vegedus says:

    “Okay, suddenly Elrond shows up at your camp.” “Hi” Laughs out loud!
    “He gives you the sword” “Here is the sword” Laughs out loud again!

  47. Isoyami says:

    Brilliant. Absolutely horseF—in’ brilliant. XD

    The just about had me in tears. It was amazing. And agreed, the screen caps are utterly divine on this one.

    I think Aragorn’s player is FINALLY happy with this campaign, now that he has some sweet loot.

    And I think that’s the shortest speech Elrond Hubbard (or any plot exposition NPC) has given in the strip to date. Aragorn must be happy with that. :D

  48. Isoyami says:

    Whoops. Something screwy happened in my last post. Should be: The *Suddenly Lord Elrond appears in your camp.* “Hi”. just about had me in tears.

    Thank you, Mr. Brain.

    (With apologies to Steve. ;) )

  49. Destroy Gundam says:

    I can’t stop laughing, even while I was typing this.

    “Hi. Here is the sword. And keep your hands off my daughter”. And here I thought elves and rulers loved making long speeches.

  50. Dawn says:

    I have nothing new to add, but still: HA!

    “You mean I didn’t – OH CRAP! Okay, suddenly Elrond shows up at your camp.”

    What a great way to encompass both the plot of the books and the way it happened in the movie.

  51. NeImporte says:

    So, I spent my time between actually working catching up to today’s post, and am already anxious for next Monday… good thing I can laugh out loud and actually show my supervisor the website (and email it to him at his request) when I burst out loud laughing (call center tech support, we all get the inside jokes).

    I’ve emailed this site to all my D&D friends, and we all think you have a webcam spying on us.

    Mirth and merriment has been had by all, keep up the good work. Now that I’m done catching up, I’ll have to see about supporting you by clicking adds or buying merch (if you have any). I was too busy reading to explore the rest of your offerings/links.

  52. Caitlin says:

    I always wondered why Elrond gave the sword to Aragon at this point in the movies. I had thought Aragon had the sword since Rivendell. Thanks for clearing that up Shamus.

  53. Seriously, this one is a home-run. Just hysterical. I know at this point I’m jumping on the pile, but it’s one of your best.

  54. Nixorbo says:

    I have a working theory about why Jackson put Anduril so much later.

    I think it’s linked to Aragorn’s development as a character. I base this on Elrond telling him “Put off the Ranger and become the King you were born to be” (Nixorbo Roughly From Memory version). Anduril symbolizes Aragorn’s commitment to accepting his inheritence, where he chooses to finally stop being a mere Ranger and take the responsibility of leadership.

    That’s why Jackson moved it, to show Aragorn’s character development, from Strider to Elessar.

  55. Nixorbo says:

    Also, best comic ever. Or at least in recent memory. Keep your hands off my daughter indeed.

    Hope Aragorn’s learned his lesson from Eowyn.

  56. -Chipper says:

    This strip sounds very much like your own mis-step in DMing:

    To quote the boss from the movie Mr. Mom: “Keep that sense of humor- it’s critical!” :-)

    This was a GREAT strip!

  57. Roxysteve says:

    brassbaboon Says:
    Heh, you should have posted the swords stats too, like in an item box next to the sword as Aragorn holds it up so we can see how awesome it is too.

    No good. This is Anduril, the famous Sword of Plot-Adaptive Stats. Basically, if the DM decides the plot needs it, the sword can do it at that time. Repeat performances on player demand are not guaranteed.


  58. Roxysteve says:

    The palantir in frame one looks too rude for Aragormless to pass up making a comment.

    Outraged of Snakepipe Hollow.

  59. Adam says:

    First time I have posted.

    So I decide to do some reading while waiting for some support in DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online) only to see this and laugh out loud soooo hard. The main reason is… I’ve done just that! Forget to give a key element of the plot when I was suppose to.

    The whole, He’s here – gives you dohicky – He’s gone… lord that is funny.

  60. Martin says:

    OK class, can you say “retcon”? I knew you could.

    And, with regards to, “figures. only two magic items in the whole fracking campaign, and they both go to the ranger. ;)”

    I think Frodo has a magic item or two, plus (of course) various NPCs.

  61. Tom says:

    I agree with Nixorbo’s Strider/Elessar interpretation of the movie.

  62. Dreamshadow says:

    Oh man…that was me as the DM. Seriously, reading text boxes I shouldn’t have (flavortextflavortext, and now the party is jumped by….*sigh) or forgetting plot points in my custom campaigns. Thanks Shamus.

  63. Parzival says:

    I have to echo everyone else:

    “OH CRAP! Okay, Suddenly Elrond shows up at your camp…”
    ” ‘Hi. Here is the sword.'”
    ” ‘And keep your hands off my daughter.'”
    “Sweet smokin’ Conan!”


    Great stuff. And how you manage to find all those expressions is beyond me.
    (Peter Jackson really does need to see this strip.)

  64. Cenobite says:

    Snakes on a Palantir!

  65. Habenath says:

    Honestly, these guys are lucky Lord Elrond turned up to deliver the goods.

    In my last GMed game we went through at least one major battle that might have cost the lives of one of the characters, but for the calculations against AC I was making for one character wearing a fallen companion’s armour.

    Trouble is, it turned out that two characters were wearing the same suit at the time…

  66. Fickle says:

    “Suddenly Lord Elrond shows up at your camp. “˜Hi.' “

    I think that I have to chime in and agree with everyone who’s calling that line the best one so far XD This strip rivals Legolas-killing-Gollum as my favorite so far! XD

  67. Chuck says:

    “Sweet smokin' Conan!” is one of the best lines you’ve had is this strip. I almost fell out of my chair. Damn funny!

  68. SongCoyote says:

    Je suis le soixante-neuf!

    “Keep your hands off my daughter, Mr. Aragorn, or I’ll make you take the Blue Pill.”

    I think that’s exactly the expression I’ve had on my face when I’ve been playing Diablo and found a really cool item. Just staring at the screen, absoribing the impact of my new loot… as The Council ate my head :D

    Light and laughter,

  69. Bad Jaspero says:

    Awesome sequence! Loved it!

  70. HA! Loved it.

    Yeah, Jackson was trying to tell a fundamentally different Aragorn story from the books– he’s afraid that he’s tainted by Elendil’s mistakes, doesn’t want to be king, has to grow into accepting it, yadda yadda. I found it a silly change, and I love that Shamus can get humor out of the discrepancy.

    I agree– there’s something disturbing about the palantir’s appearance in frame 1…

  71. melchar says:

    Best one ever! I was laughing so hard that tears leaked out. So very, very good! [best Elrond line ever!]

  72. James says:

    That was truely beautiful. The perfect combination of the books, films and D&D.

    Best strip yet?

    So… What did he see in the planter?

  73. wolfblade says:

    Ah, nice thing to come home from work to. But sadly after learning about these comics yesterday I managed to get caught up in only an hour or so… no w I have to wait for new material!

  74. Morrinn says:

    Its like… each comic tops the last…
    This comic = The Wins

  75. Arson55 says:

    Elrond is now my favorite character in the campaign. That was great.

    Okay, suddenly, Lord Elrond shows up at your camp.
    He gives you the sword.
    Here is the sword.

  76. Scarlet Knight says:

    “Roxysteve Says: The palantir in frame one looks too rude for Aragormless to pass up making a comment.”

    Why?, it just looks like a …wait,…naw, it couldn’t be! For Aragorn’s sake I sure HOPE that’s not Arwen!

  77. brashieel says:

    Most of your strips are funny, but the ones where you explain the movie/book divergences are generally the best. Well, that and the Gollum strip, of course.

    Awesome strip, Shamus. Keep it up.

  78. Jane says:

    Not bad. You gaze in the plantir and get a great sword!
    What happens if he looks again…

  79. Lynx says:


    Hope Aragorn's learned his lesson from Eowyn.

    Speaking of Eowyn and Aragorn’s wedding.. sigh, Faramir deserves better than what Eowyn is about to give him. I suppose Faramir will have a close relationship with the clerics after his marriage…


  80. Cineris says:

    I love that “Hi” and Hugo Weaving’s facial expression so much. Perfect, it says it all.

  81. Saichen says:

    yeah i’m currently involved in an Eastern-inspired RP where i’ve been instructed to collec tthese 7 swords that were part of some guy’s final masterpiece and then go speak with the emporer and maybe even finally retire this character… anyway, they all have names and personalities. it’s freaking confusing.

    like Chishio, the sword of blood. The sword thirsts for blood and can posess me to accomplish the craziest tasks possible in order to get blood.

    So my DM made up a new skill for me to use to talk with the swords. so now, i have to use my diplomacy and ranks in “aura of command” to talk to these frikking swords. *sigh*

    i feel for ya aragorn, really, i do.

  82. Scarlet Knight says:

    Lynx Says:”Hope Aragorn's learned his lesson from Eowyn….”

    I can imagine that the reason Aragorn gave Faramir land as a wedding present was to get Eowyn out of Gondor.

    Arwen:”Who is that blonde who keeps smiling at you?”
    Aragorn: “Her? Oh, nobody, nobody at all. In fact, I thinks she’s going marry Faramir. Yes, that’s right! His fiance! And they’re moving soon! Capital fellow that Faramir!”

  83. George says:


    You know sometimes i think Peter Jackson forgotto give it to him in Rivendell….

  84. Dannerman says:

    Great return to form, Shamus!

  85. Scatty says:

    Reading the comments, its amazing how many people who read this not only play D&D (in fact, that’s almost a given), but also DM.

    I’ve never had a plot element as powerful or important as said sword to forget to give the players, so I can’t empathyze, however this type of DM mistake is a classic.

  86. davwalp says:

    Sweet smokin’ Conan it right! You’ve definitely outdone yourself in this one Shamus.

    Long live DMotR!!!!

  87. MarkB says:

    Yeah, it’s Jackson’s obsession with giving each human character a spiritual journey from a flawed beginning towards becoming the character they are in the books that’s responsible for the rather clumsy re-ordering of events as far as Anduril’s concerned.

    Sometimes it works, more often it doesn’t (mostly because we don’t get to see some of the characters for long enough, so only their first impressions last – thus, Theoden and Faramir, in particular, come out of it looking like complete chumps).

    Anyway, just to echo the other comments, excellent comic, and yes I’ve been there as a DM.

  88. Ishmael says:

    “Scarlet Knight Says:

    “Roxysteve Says: The palantir in frame one looks too rude for Aragormless to pass up making a comment.”

    Why?, it just looks like a …wait,…naw, it couldn't be! For Aragorn's sake I sure HOPE that's not Arwen!”

    Aaaauugh! You’ve ruined *everything*!

  89. Paul says:

    Very Funny, keep up the good work.

    Love how the DM makes up for forgetting to give Aragorn the sword, especially how he keeps refering to the sword by a different name each time and just confusing Aragorn further :p

  90. !n00b says:

    I admire the skill with which, in the space of five comics (97-102), you’ve explained away two of the movie-book differences with things that are perfectly believable D&D table events.

  91. Sedda says:

    This one was very good ^^

  92. Tracia says:

    I absolutely love this comic (I have it in my bookmarks bar!) but this is my first time posting.

    What I love about this particular strip that no one has mentioned yet is the very subtle comment of what happens to the DM-speak here. Usually so eloquent and verbose, the DM resorts to ‘Hi. Here’s the sword!’ because he’s improvising a solution to an oversight he just realized he made.

    Makes me think of my own DM, who will do such a great job speaking in character when he’s planned it, but when you ask him a question he didn’t anticipate, he falls right back into 21st century slang, like ‘…well, i was pissed off that…’

    That, combined with the brilliance of alluding the the very forced nature of how Elrond knows where their camp is and why he shows up in the first place, makes this probably one of my favorite strips of the whole comic! SUPER JOB!

  93. Keltik says:

    My word, a friend just told me about this site and I spent a morning reading it all. Great stuff.

  94. Woerlan says:

    At least the DM was straightforward with admitting his mistake. Had this been me, I would’ve hashed about “Artifact level weapons take a very long time to forge, let alone REFORGE. Just melting the blade back into mystical slag takes days… WEEKS even… (cough, cough). Anyway, here it is…”

  95. orcbane says:

    It would be so much easier just to have asked “So, you’re saying you don’t WANT Elrond to have given you a really powerful sword?” But 1 DM’s style differs from the next!

  96. Buck Flicks says:

    Man… there are a lot of Chris Farleys here…

    Hey… remember when you said “keep your hands off my daugther?” … you remember that?


    That was awesome.

  97. Dez says:


    aren3 #12 “Hilarious, as usual. And probably makes about as much sense as that part of the movie. Yeah, yeah, dramatic pacing and all that.”

    This comment about hits the nail on the head.

    “Look at the stats on this sword…i was meant to have this from the beginning?!?” – LOL



  98. Old Man Matt says:

    You really outdid yourself with this one Shamus.

    Since I haven’t seen those movies or read the books, just what kind of stats would that sword have if it was dndified.

  99. Sarah says:

    Ahhh, catching up after a couple weeks of being flat out in RL, this is my new favorite strip! This scene in the movie is the worst train wreck, I so hoped the extended cut would fix it somehow, but there was no way. Finally you have achieved what PJ couldn’t, you made sense out of this scene! The most grating part for me always was, that in the midst of this absolute nonsense (how did Elrond get there, just then, fly? what is he talking about?), there is about the juiciest reveal of a sword in a movie, ever, period. I’m not a guy, I’m not into blades, but this scene… whew!
    Thank you so much for this, it’s all been great, but this one is pure magic!

  100. Phil says:

    I’m looking forward to the strip after Aragorn’s coronation where Elrond offers Arwen to Aragorn but he first insists on having her checked out as “I remember what happened last time I got laid in this lousy campaign”. Elrond’s face after that should be a picture… :)

  101. Harlequin says:

    “And keep your hands off my daughter.”

    Tolkien by way of Harper Lee. The only thing Lord Elrond’s missing is a 12-gauge double barrel and a washtub of moonshine in Imladris…

  102. Scarlet Knight says:

    “okay! Says:Can't wait for other players' reaction when they hear Aragorn got a sweet blade for doing nothing. Where's Gimli's enchanted hammer, or Legolas' enchanted bow, or the halflings' enchanted toe hair trimmers?”

    I can picture Gimli now:
    Gimli:”Why does he get the good stuff?”
    DM:”Well, he’s the leader & needs these…”
    Gimli: “Why can’t a dwarf lead? I once played the leader in a game of Boot Hill as an old prospector named ‘Old Chasm’ who lead the group! ‘Course he was a dwarf teleported by an evil wizard across time & had a nose for gold…”

  103. Browncoat says:

    Hey Buck – Remember when you asked Shamus if he remembered when Elrond said, “Keep your hands off my daughter?” That was awesome.

    It occurred to me that I need to alter how I read these. I’m so excited when noon MWF comes around that I scarf the strip down like a handful of butter-flavored popcorn, rather than reading slowly and absorbing it, like letting a piece of fine chocolate melt in my mouth. I completely missed the “Sweet Smoking Conan” comment the first time I read it. I was confused by the comments about it until I went back and reread. I laughed louder the second time.

    Hey Browncoat, remember when you asked Buck if he remembered when he asked Shamus if he remembered when Elrond said, um, “Keep your hands off my daughter”? Remember that? That was awesome. (Oh, man that was STUPID! I’m such an IDIOT!)

  104. -Chipper says:

    Browncoat- I read the comic fast, check out what comments are there, then go back & look at the comic panels because the first time I always miss the facial expressions that Shamus has so expertly chosen. Except this time I caught Elrond’s expression when he warns Aragorn to keep away from Arwen. Perfect. Just flawless.

  105. Tonko says:

    Everytime I look at Elrond again I start to laugh. Oh my god. Great choice of panels for this, I love it.

  106. anachronist says:

    About panel 7, where the DM says “He gives you the sword” and Elrond says “Here is the sword”:

    I am reminded of this excellent article, in particular, these two Garfield cartoons, illustrating the “less is more” concept:

    With dialog:
    Without dialog:

    The second one is clearly funnier. So it kinda bothered me to see the redundant words in panel 7. Otherwise, Shamus, this is one your best strips yet.

  107. anachronist says:

    Hm, the link I tried to include above got removed. The article is at

  108. Yahzi says:

    What makes “Keep your hands off my daughter” so funny is it’s not a line the DM said; it’s a line the NPC said. So even while Elrond is being used like a puppet to fix the DM’s mistake, he still acts like a real person.

    Sheer genius!


  109. Osvaldo Mandias says:

    I giggled all through this strip on Friday, giggled all through it again today, and laughed every time I saw it quoted in the comments.

    The repetition of “He gives you the sword. ‘Here is the sword.'” is screamingly funny.

  110. Marmot says:

    Just as other said, I laughed heartily when I saw this episode, and am reading it every day to laugh again. You scored something really big here!!!

  111. rosignol says:

    Oh, crap. Now my co-workers are staring at me. Time to look busy before they wander over…

  112. Browncoat says:

    @ anachronist —

    Great Garfield comics–thanks! You’re right, of course, it’s funnier without the words. I have to disagree, however, about panel 7. It would not have been funny at all without the repitition.

  113. Dw00 says:

    This is definitely my new favourite. Well done!

  114. KnightofNEE says:

    Heh, this comic explains why they have yet to win a battle.

  115. AltarielofLothlorien says:

    I have the replica of that sword, it’s freaking awesome and about as tall as the average 7yr old.

  116. Flexstyle says:

    Whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute. Didn’t Aragorn already have the sword?

  117. Scarlet Knight says:

    “Flexstyle Says:Whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute. Didn't Aragorn already have the sword? ”

    No,no, common mistake…that was Narsil, This is ANDUIL. Notice the capital letters…

    (Dave Barry once wrote that “Shards of Narsil” would make a great name for a band. I have to agree.)

  118. Ancalagon says:

    I would just like to say, that in a long line of hilarious comics, this one is the best. Absolutely hilarious!

  119. Mark N. says:

    Whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute. Didn't Aragorn already have the sword?

    Ah, a retracing of the “Sauron/Saruman” confusion thing!

    Perfect, as is the whole strip.

  120. person132 says:

    No, the liked strip specifically says it is “refurbished”.

    Great comic anyway.

  121. Ashley says:

    Always wondered why Elrond waited until RotK to give him the freaking sword.
    This explains a lot…

  122. AyalaofBorg says:

    Should’ve left it at ‘Hi’.

    –Hobbits are a virus–

  123. Seve says:

    The point of saying first is to be number one and thus owning(or pwning)everyone else. It’s just one side effect of modern mentality of – I want everything now.

  124. Cynder says:

    LOL at the DM!! Do DM’s really forget stuff like that?!

    Baha at Elrond…just randomly appears outta nowhere, gives Aragorn a sword and leaves saying, “And keep your hands off my daughter.” Funny as hell!

    The last couple of frames are done really well too…it really looks like Elrond DID just randomly appear outta nowhere, give Aragorn a sword and leave saying, “And keep your hands off my daughter.” Very clever!! :D

  125. Beor says:

    “The second (Garfield example) is clearly funnier. So it kinda bothered me to see the redundant words in panel 7.”

    No, the redundant words are part of the humor in this particular case. The DM, panicking, has decided to deliver the sword to his character in the clumsiest, on-the-nose manner possible… including hilariously bad redundant dialogue. (In the movie this was obscured by flowery description, but it still would have probably been better if Arwen herself had delivered the sword. For some reason the screenwriters confused this with saying Arwen didn’t belong at Helms Deep — which is true — so they excised her out completely. I think it would have actually been better if Arwen had appeared at the same point of the movie, instead of Elrond — and get rid of the “she’s dying” idea. But apparently the muster of Rohan, and the high pass leading to Paths of the Dead, was originally supposed to be at Helms Deep, so Arwen couldn’t be there. And the separate location from the books was only added late in the filming. There is a reference at the end of Two Towers about “a secret way behind Helms Deep… leading into the mountains. but they will not get far”) So the Elrond bit from the movies is a similar panicky screenwriting addition, albeit more artfully done than the way Arwen disappeared from the movie. Anyway… I love this strip!

  126. Jesska says:

    “Also, please but *please* tell me there's a Priscilla, Queen of the Desert joke coming before this is all over.”

    Oh sweet ABBA yes! I totally would rather see Elrond pull a Mitzy than the usual ‘Agent Elrond’ joke anyday.
    I have a suggestion for that joke too, how about the end scene of Priscilla? You know, the ‘sorry, my breast is falling’ part. :-P

  127. Filcha says:

    BEAUTIFUL! Absolutely fabulous! I have liked lots but this is my new favourite – in so many ways.


  128. Mina says:

    LOL, can you imagine if it’s like, halfway though the film, they’re like, flipping through the book and suddenly exclaim: “OH SHIT! Anduril!!” Then you see Elrond at camp with them… who decides to, you know, take his skilled elves to Valinor instead of bringing these poor humans the help they need to actually win the war instead of being forced to pull strings with the undead. Common, Elrond, just because you’ve been there 3,000 years ago and have refuge past the Straight Road, doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk about it!


  129. Tamfang says:

    Didn’t book-Aragorn flash Andàºril when he first met à‰omer?

    Any idea why Firefox goes funny when I try to open or close this page? I’ve had no trouble before now. (Writing this in Safari.)

  130. dyrnwyn says:

    this is one of my all time favotites it was hilarious

  131. Xzeno says:

    Well, when i make a plot mistake, i just do what the DMG advises. (I know, crazy huh?) That is to make it part of the plot. Also: dyrnwyn is a loser.

  132. Gondring says:

    I find that when going back over these, I crack up, out loud, as much as the first time through.

    My favourite panel here is the third: “What? Wielder of the what now?” …priceless screen cap that just is so fitting for a player’s face.

  133. Bagh33ra says:

    “Suddenly Elrond shows up at your camp.”



  134. Palantas says:

    Hysterical. Back when you had Aragorn starting with Anduril, I figured you’d just skip this part, but no. Brilliant.

  135. JB says:


    Re-arranging that particular bit of the story was one of the things about the movie that really bugged me- it just seemed so *pointless*.

  136. ERROR says:

    “OK, so I managed to look into the planter.”
    “Yeah, the magical doohickey.”


  137. Josh W says:

    “Sweet Smoking Conan!”

    Holy Adjectives, Batman!!!

    I LOVE it.

  138. Serenitybane says:

    “Sweet smoking Conan!!” xD

  139. Robin says:

    Lynx wrote:

    “sigh, Faramir deserves better than what Eowyn is about to give him. I suppose Faramir will have a close relationship with the clerics after his marriage…”

    It’s okay — Faramir’s not the fool that Aragorn is. Before the wedding, Eowyn has an extended stay at the Houses of Healing. She even tries to leave early, but Faramir won’t let her leave until she’s fully healed.

  140. Fencing Bear says:

    This is positively brilliant! The whole strip, but especially this page: as several people have already commented, it is excellent the way that you use the strip to critique the way in which Jackson rewrote the story. I especially liked the gag back when the DM threw Aragorn off the cliff and then he just climbs back up, none of that nonsense with Arwen as in the movie. I also appreciate the way the comic helps non-players like me understand the difficulties in designing a campaign when the players are expecting to earn XP and find treasure, as well as showing the way in which the real-life personalities of the players affect the way in which they role play (or not). Great stuff!

  141. Rob says:

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been a “Mr. Anderson…” joke worked in there somewhere. Comedic timing i guess…

    *Disclaimer: I am not responsible in the event a) it *was* worked in and I forgot, b) it was already mentioned in prior comments, or c) it wasn’t funny and I should just be quiet.

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      There was no way to make it make sense. They’re playing the campaign in a world where Lord of the Rings doesn’t exist. That means there’s no LOTR movie that means the characters have no way to relate Elrond to Hugo Weaving or Agent Smith. It would be a pure fourth wall breaking aside and Shamus hasn’t done one of those yet.

  142. Arancaytar says:

    Hey, Peter Jackson made EXACTLY the same mistake!

  143. Spike says:

    Magical doohicky! what a cool name!!

  144. Rob L says:

    Ack! I think I just wet myself! Every frame is priceless!

  145. Gideon says:

    Sweet Smoking Conan! I freaking love the facial expressions you capture. And can not remember a comic that made me laugh out loud this much.

  146. nocata says:

    i guess the plot-patching from the DM in above comic falls into the category of “not better”

  147. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I love that this is the explanation for the discrepancy between the books and the movies

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